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Treating and Recognizing Sinusitis and Other Sinus Problems

An estimated 35 million Americans are plagued with sinusitis every year. Sinusitis, an inflammation or infection of the sinuses, can start out like a cold, with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose and cough, but it may last longer and be impervious to over-the-counter remedies. The December 2000 issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource offered a guide to the symptoms and treatments for this common and irritating disease. Here is some treatment information from that guide.

How Sinus Problems Begin
Sinuses are hollow air spaces in the skull and bones of the face. They lie above and along the nose, around the eyes and across the cheekbones. All of these spaces can become clogged by mucus from the nose, so anything that causes your nose to swell or get congested can affect your sinuses the same way.

Symptoms of Sinusitis
Typical symptoms of sinusitis may include pressure and pain in the upper portion of the face; headache; swelling of the eyelids; scratchy throat; congestion or a stuffy nose; thick, yellow-green nasal discharge; low-grade fever and bad breath that isn't related to dental problems. More than two-thirds of sinusitis cases are acute, which means they are only temporary and should be cured by a course of antibiotics.

Chronic Sinusitis
The remaining one-third of cases are chronic. The symptoms never seem to go away, even with medical treatment. Chronic sinusitis usually has an underlying cause such as persistent allergies, a fungal

Treatment for Sinusitis
Treatments for sinusitis vary depending on the cause. Your physician may recommend a vaporizer, warm compresses, and ibuprofen or nasal steroids to relieve symptoms. Antibiotics and allergy treatments can treat the cause of the infection. Surgery may be required in some chronic cases.

Source: Mayo Clinic


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